CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Requirements for high school seniors to receive West Virginia's Promise Scholarship have been reduced.

The Higher Education Policy Commission board, which is the statewide four-year college oversight and policy agency, approved the reductions to qualify for the $4,750-per-year Promise Scholarship on Friday, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

The new regulations now require a 1080 combined score on the SAT or a 21 composite ACT score, and students will have flexibility in how they earn that, official said.

Board members voted after the agency's financial aid director, Brian Weingart, said 2,500 students have been awarded the scholarship amid the pandemic, about 700 less than normal. He said the reduction in requirements would boost that number by 500.

“We’ll still be behind,” said higher education Chancellor Sarah Tucker. “These students have struggled so much this year and they have tried so hard.”

“I, as the chancellor, as your chancellor, cannot recommend sitting on millions of dollars that should be given to students to help them forward their education,” she said.

The deadline to apply for the Promise Scholarship is still July 1.